• Powerful cosmic “flash” reveals previously hidden atoms in-between galaxies
  • Fast radio burst releases enough energy in one millisecond to rival our Sun for 10,000 years
  • Radio burst came from quiet, old galaxy, surprising scientists

UNTIL recently, half the universe’s ordinary matter was “missing”, but now it’s been found thanks to an incredibly powerful flash that gives off as much energy in one millisecond as our Sun emits in 10,000 years.

Scientists believe the universe comprises 70 per cent dark energy, 25 per cent dark matter and five per cent ordinary matter—atoms—but when they look at the stars and galaxies they can only account for about half this ordinary matter.

They concluded the “missing” half must be made up of individual atoms floating in the spaces between galaxies.

The burst of energy involved is known as a fast radio burst (FRB), the result of an unknown cosmic event that creates an intense radio beam which lasts a few thousandths of a second.

Even though scientists believe FRBs are occurring thousands of times every day, they’ve only ever found sixteen, and until recently they’d never tracked down the source of any of them.

But now, thanks to the efforts of an international team of scientists including Curtin University’s Dr Ramesh Bhat and CSIRO’s Dr Simon Johnston, the source of an FRB has been located for the first time.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.sciencewa.net.au

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